Metals Encyclopedia

Metals Encyclopedia

We work with a range of metals in our studio to service a variety of styles, price points, and skin sensitivities. We want to insure that you and your jewelry will get along well so please check out our metals encyclopedia below to learn more about them.  

Sterling Silver 

Denoted by a 925 stamping, sterling silver is made of 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% copper. This alloy provides additional strength to silver which is very soft in its pure state, and is ideal for creating jewelry that will last through years of wear. 

Care: Sterling patinas when the surface reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air. Your skin's natural oils protect against this, so your sterling jewelry wants to be worn. If desired, sterling's bright shine can be restored with a polishing cloth. Avoid exposure to chemicals like perfume, chlorine, and household cleaners. Store away from humidity when not being worn.

Sensitivity: Sterling silver is a great option for those with skin sensitivity since it is hypoallergenic. For most, the 92.5% purity will not create irritation, but for extremely delicate skin the copper alloy in sterling may cause reaction. In such cases we recommend the most skin friendly metal: gold.

Gold Plated Brass & Gold Vermeil

Rackk & Ruin's gold plated jewelry boasts a thick 2.5+ microns of 23.5 karat gold, toned to perfectly match the buttery yellow of 14 karat gold. It is not to be confused with a short-lived "flash" plating (<0.175 microns).

We use nickel-free metals as the base: either sterling silver (known as gold vermeil) or jeweler's brass.

Care: Gold plated pieces should be stored with care in a soft pouch or box when not being worn. To prolong the life of the gold layer, we recommend removing before showering, swimming, working out, and using skincare/cleaning products.

If you wear through the plating, replating is available through our repairs portal staring at $20.

Sensitivity: 23.5k gold is the only metal to have skin contact in our gold vermeil pieces, making them a great option for those with very sensitive skin. 

Gold Fill

Gold fill has a core of jeweler's brass that is heat- and pressure-bonded to a thick layer of 14k gold. Gold fill has a lifespan of years under proper care and is more durable than a gold plating due to its unique bonding process. 

Care: While gold fill jewelry is water resistant, the gold layer will last longer if removed before showering, swimming, working out, and using skincare/cleaning products. Brighten your gold fill jewelry with a polishing cloth and store in a soft box or bag when not being worn.

Sensitivity: Gold fill is a great option for those with sensitive skin because the outer layer of the jewelry is comprised of a thick layer of 14k gold. Once the gold eventually wears down the  brass base metal will be exposed and those with very sensitive skin may react to it.

Solid Gold

For over 3,000 years, gold has been the nonpareil expression of value and exceptional rarity in human culture. The entirety of gold on Earth was present for its creation, and is finite. It is a pleasure to work with and a pleasure to wear. 

Solid gold is an heirloom precious metal. Karat denotes the percentage of pure gold in the alloy, with higher karats having a richer color. We value it for its ability to maintain the integrity through generations of wear.

Gold is perfect for those who want to wear their jewelry 24/7 and never worry about surface changes. 

Care: Gold pieces will be with you for a lifetime, and passed down for many more to come, so treat them in kind. Store in a soft box or bag when not in use. We recommend protecting your gold from chlorine and other harsh chemicals. Brighten your gold with a polishing cloth and store with care when not being worn.

Sensitivity: Simply the best option for extremely sensitive skin. It is the least reactive of precious metals and a perfect pair for your skin's pH.

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